Following His Directions

Not long ago, I had to drive my son to a doctor’s appointment in a neighboring city.  I was so nervous.  Not only because we had been told he almost definitely needed surgery (he did NOT, for the record), but also because I was driving someplace new and I get so nervous on new driving routes.  I’ve always been like this.  Job interview at a new company?  The interview didn’t faze me– it was the getting there that made my heart beat faster.


My husband dutifully wrote me directions.  And, while he is a whiz at understanding north, south, complicated merging, and lane changing, what he wrote for me looked a little like this:


“Go ahead and head out like you’re going to the store.  When you turn left at that light, make sure you’re in the right hand lane and just stay there.  Eventually, after you merge onto the bypass and get on the highway, it’s going to turn into the exit only lane that you will need.  So just stay there…”


… and on it went.


I love him.  He never makes fun of me for being directionally impaired.  He never insists that I get a better grasp on directions.  He doesn’t even scoff when I ask him to write them out “in reverse” for me too because my brain has trouble doing that on its own.  He just does it.  He knows me.  He gets me.


And he is the best direction giver ever.


Having the perfect partner to help me navigate life?


That’s a finer thing, to be sure.


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12 comments to Following His Directions

  • You are so brave. I’d much rather rely on a GPS, LOL ;). But seriously, I’m very grateful for my husband but for different reasons ;).

    • Hah! I HATE our GPS! My husband knows me in a way that silly Gypsy (um, yes, that would be the GPS’s name– what? that’s weird? ;)) just does not. And I trust him so much more. But, then, you must realize that GPS has probably been around since YOU started driving. I learned to drive when we all still had atlases! :D

  • I’m pretty good with direction, but I most definitely don’t think like my husband. He pretty much has a photographic memory and can look at something on the map/Google and then the map’s in his brain and he just uses that. I also process directions differently somehow. So, though I’m not actually directionally challenged, I find it really hard to take directions from my husband. It’s funny too, b/c every time we move, he learns the new city much faster and then tries to direct me as HE’S driving. He’ll say things like “are you paying attention to where we are???” “Well, no I was breaking up the argument in the back seat!!” I find that if I just do it once, I’m usually good, but I have to be the one driving for it to “stick.” And, I do somehow manage to get goofed up by my GPS more often than I’d like to admit!

    • I am AWFUL at learning how to get someplace from the passenger seat. I definitely have to drive it myself before I’m going to really get it. My husband learns new cities faster than me (of course ;)) but, more than that, he can always REMEMBER places that we visited once, ten years ago. I don’t know HOW he does that! (My dad is like that, too, for the record…)

      • Oooh, my husband does that too. We’ll be driving through a city that we haven’t been to for several years and he’ll say “we got gas/ate there there last time we drove through, do you remember that?” “Huh? What? No, I don’t remember that and why do you?!?!” I have to admit though, it’s nice having his photographic memory b/c he never forgets how to get somewhere, where we parked, that random restaurant in some remote place we said we’d never stop at again or anything like that!!

  • I love this! I’m okay with directions (not great, but if I study the route on Google Maps ahead of time and take a printout, I’ll probably be able to find my way there), but what I love about this is how well your husband knows you and how he took the effort to write out something that works for YOU. That makes me smile.

  • That is so awesome. Unconditional love at its finest!

  • Whereas my husband and I appear to be speaking different languages when trying to explain how to get from Point A to Point B!! It is very frustrating!

    He is a map, atlas, and explicit written directions kind of guy; for example:

    “Immediately turn left when leaving our driveway, drive at 30 mph for exactly 3.78 miles, make a right turn onto Magnolia Street at the corner of Whipple and Magnolia. Don’t go as far as Tamarack Road. Stay in right hand lane, proceed 300 ft, park on the left, enter 3rd door on the right at the top of the stairs. Ask to speak to Mr. Smith, the CEO.

    Whereas I just kind of wing it! For instance:

    Go to the corner where the Dairy Queen is. Turn right on the street with the dry cleaners. Keep going till you see the 2 story pink building (or maybe it’s salmon) on the left. It’s upstairs on the right I think. When you find the right office, ask for Joe!!

    • This made me laugh! I think women, in general, seem to be pretty landmark oriented. Maybe we’re more observant about buildings and such? I don’t know. One thing that drove me crazy when I lived in Rhode Island is that people would always give directions based upon things that USED to be there, e.g. “Turn left where the Dunkin Donuts used to be. Pull in the parking lot next to where the old Lee Bridge was…” Totally useless if you didn’t always live there! :)

  • ha ha these directions crack me up! I want Left on 1st street, right on main street, left into the parking lot at Starbucks. I have no idea what kind of directions suit my husband…I mostly drive.

  • Before we left on our trip to KC last week, I printed off google maps for where we were headed in the city. :) No GPS here.

    I am most definitely a NSEW direction giver and taker. LOVE navigating new places!

    • Honestly, when I lived in FL and in the midwest, I was totally FINE with NSEW directions because all the roads are straight, relatively flat, and in a grid. Now. There is not a single thing flat, straight, or logical about CT roads. It’s madness. I still didn’t really enjoy navigating new places in the midwest– it was just far easier. You and I can definitely be friends who travel together…. I’ll leave you in charge of all navigating and I’ll make sure there’s always music you like playing. ;)

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